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    Posted April 11, 2014 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    As Filipinos in the USA gear up to watch the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch in Las Vegas, Kiambans from all over the world hope not only for a Pacquiao win in the boxing arena, but also an announcement for his support to a Mining Free Sarangani and declaration of Mt. Busa as a protected area and National Park.

    Dr. Renato de la Cruz, President of Kiamba Sarangani Development Foundation Inc. (KSDFI) based in the United States said: “ Manny Pacquiao has brought pride to the Filipino people. We wish him luck in this fight. Win or loss, he is our champion. We are confident that as a Congressman, he will pass the Bill for a Mining Free Sarangani in Congress like the support he did for Palawan. We do not see any reason why he would not support an environmental policy that will benefit his constituents and ensure sustainable livelihoods for them."

    Dr. Agnes Quinto-Sinocruz who sits as the Chairman of the KSDFI also said that Congressman Pacquiao's help is needed to protect and preserve Mt. Busa of Kiamba Sarangani. “ This mossy forest, identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA), is a globally important habitat for the conservation of bird populations and mining will disturb if not destroy this important habitat,” Dr. Sinocruz added.

    IBAs are categorized based on internationally agreed set of criteria. Mt. Busa was qualified and found to be home to globally threatened species (A1 and A2) found to be in the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable bird populations.

    Among known bird populations in Mt. Busa is the world’s rarest and critically endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi). It is reported that less than 1,000 Philippine eagles are thought to exist.

    The Examiner reported that the “Philippine eagle requires a range of 25 to 50 square miles to successfully reproduce, and nest on dipterocarp trees. They are prone to poor reproduction numbers in the presence of deforestation. The female matures sexually at five years of age and the male at seven. Like most eagles, the Philippine Eagle is monogamous. The Philippine eagle is also called the Monkey-eating eagle. The eagle's diet is not primarily monkey; it preys on small mammals, other birds, snakes and pythons. Locals call the bird by the name "Haribon."

    “Interestingly, Pacquiao is a known generous contributor for the protection of the Philippine Eagle,” Dr. de la Cruz quipped. “ Media dubbed Pacquiao’s arrival in LA to promote his Bradley fight as - The Eagle Has Landed.

    “On a personal note, I am confident that Congressman Pacquiao will pass the Bill for a Sarangani mining free zone not only for Haribon but for the benefit of the people. Manny has been blessed and he will leave behind a lasting legacy of a healthy environment for the coming generations,” Dr. de la Cruz added.

    The Pacquiao Bradley rematch is set for Saturday, April 12, 2014 in Las Vegas.


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